Debby Grahl shares a cozy Christmas mystery…and a spicy new release!

Welcome Debby Grahl!

Debby writes both contemporary and paranormal romance. She loves reading about witches, ghosts, and time travel. She likes using witches and ghosts in her writing because they’re so versatile. :) You can have good and bad witches. You can have ghosts that you can see, or not see. Ghosts who can move objects, or those who fumble their way around. She also likes writing about handsome sexy men and strong independent women.

How did you get the idea for Decorated To Death?

 Decorated to Death can be found on  Amazon .

Decorated to Death can be found on Amazon.

This idea came from my love of murder mysteries, especially cozies from authors such as Agatha Christy. My husband and I were living in The Oregon Historic District in Dayton, Ohio. I was on the tour committee, and each year we’d open six homes for our holiday tour. Anyone who has served on a committee knows things are bound to go wrong somewhere along the way. I was attending one such meeting where chaos reigned. I thought to myself, all we need is for dead bodies to show up as the tourists arrive.

About Decorated to Death:

The restored historic town of Newcomsville, with its unique shops, quaint eateries and cozy inn, is getting ready for the third annual Christmas tour. A festive holiday mood engulfs the town’s residents, but greed, betrayal, blackmail and murder lie beneath the gentle mantle of new-fallen snow.

Excerpt:

Alex began typing his notes into his computer. When he finished, he sat back in his desk chair and thoughtfully reviewed the file. He was pretty confident who the blackmail victim was. Blackmail victim, yes. Murderer, I can’t see it.

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He made his way downstairs to tell Abigail he was leaving. As he entered the kitchen, the aromas of fresh baked bread and simmering homemade soup made his mouth water. Beatrice, standing at the stove, was busily ladling what looked like thick potato soup into two large bowls.

Alex sniffed appreciatively. “That smells wonderful. Is there enough for a neglected starving husband?”

“Abigail told me you two didn’t have a proper breakfast this morning,” Beatrice replied with disapproval. “Set yourself down and I’ll get you some soup and a slice of my chicken pot pie.”

As Alex sat down at the scarred wooden table, Abigail came rushing through the swinging kitchen door.

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“Three more specials, Beatrice,” Abigail said breathlessly. “Oh, hi, Alex. My goodness, you wouldn’t believe how busy we are. We hardly have time to get a table cleared before Peg is seating someone else. Yesterday Claire and I were wondering if the murder would keep the tourists away and hurt ticket sales for the tour. Well, we needn’t have worried. The murder is all everyone is talking about.”

When did your writing journey begin? What drew you to writing?

I have a disease of the retina called Retinitis Pigmentosa which causes gradual vision loss. I lost the ability to read in my early twenties, but even when I had sight, seeing the printed word was always difficult for me. Reading a book would take me twice as long as a person with normal sight. I became frustrated with this and  began to make up my own stories. It wasn’t until the invention of computers and wonderful screen reading software that I was able to put my stories into words. Everything I type is read back to me aloud on the computer. This enables me to do my research, use the online dictionary, post on Facebook and other social media. This has truly opened a new window of opportunity for me.

Tell us about your experience with the publishing process.

My publishing journey has been a long and frustrating one. I’ll never forget the thrill when I received my first contract. Talk about walking on a cloud. But my excitement was short-lived. The small press I signed with went out of business before my book was published. Believe it or not, this happened to me with the next publisher as well. I finally signed with a small press that published two of my books, but like the others, they eventually closed their doors. I decided to self-publish Decorated To Death. Now, I’ve signed with The Wild Rose Press and hope to make them my home.

His Magic Touch is the first in my Magic in New Orleans trilogy. My previous books include: The Silver Crescent and Rue Toulouse.

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

My advice for new writers is take writing classes. There’s a number of writing groups that provide these, and they’re usually not expensive. My first mistake in writing was thinking you wrote the book, sent it to a publisher or agent, and away you go. Not! I sent the first twenty-five pages to a publisher who was offering a free critique. She wrote back and said I had a good idea for a story if I could write it. She said she marked all my writing mistakes in red. Well, most of the page was in red. There’re a lot of unknown writing mistakes beginners make that they’re unaware of. Such as the use of tag lines, POV changes, information dump, and grammar and punctuation. A critique group is also a good idea. It’s amazing how different your story sounds when you hear someone else read it. My last bit of advice is stick with it. If you want to write, don’t give up. Remember even the well known+ authors received rejection letters. 

Has a trip influenced any of your stories?

My next release, His Magic Touch, is a paranormal romance set in New Orleans. My husband and I spent our honeymoon in the French Quarter and fell in love with the city. Two of my favorite things to write about are witches and ghosts. The history and magic of the city surround you as you walk the streets. In New Orleans, the cemeteries are known as cities of the dead. Because the city is just above the water level, people are buried in above ground tombs. It was while visiting the cemetery known as St. Louis #1, where the voodoo queen Marie Laveau rests, that the inspiration for this book began. My husband claims what happened to me there was caused by being in the heat, but I swear I was zapped by the voodoo queen herself. 

 His Magic Touch can be found at:  Amazon  and  The Wild Rose Press .

His Magic Touch can be found at: Amazon and The Wild Rose Press.

Oxford comma, yes or no? yes

Ice cream? Coffee

Coffee or tea or wine? Wine

What does your desk look like? Neat

What is your writing vice or must-haves? Coffee and a little chocolate

Describe a perfect writing day. No interruptions and the words flow.

What are some of your go-to methods for writing? If I’m blocked, I’ll clean, or pour a glass of wine and sit in the hot tub.

In an alternate reality, what would be your dream job (besides author)? I love to travel, so a flight attendant would be my choice.

Where is your favorite place you've visited (or wish to visit)? England

You have a time travel machine: past of future? Where/when? I’d travel into the past, how cool would it be to pop in and out meeting historic figures.

What do you like to do when not writing? I live on Hilton Head Island in SC. I love walking on the beach, biking, boating and enjoying beautiful sunsets

Beach, lake, or mountains? LOL, all of them.

 Where can you find Debby?   Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Amazon Author Page  ~  Twitter  ~  Bookbub

Where can you find Debby?

Website ~ Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Twitter ~ Bookbub

If you could meet one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? Eleanor Roosevelt

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? I’d be the tranquil color of the Caribbean. 

Morning rooster, night owl, or midday lark? Morning rooster

What comes first, character or plot (or other)? I usually begin with the location, plot, then character.

You find a $100 bill in your purse/bag, what would you spend it on? Shoes!

How many hours a day (or week) do you write? It depends on if the words are flowing. If they are, I can write all day. Usually though I try and write around five hours a day.

Favorite childhood book? Pippi Longstocking

Favorite book of all time? Gone With The Wind

You’re on a desert island, besides essentials, what do you bring? A handsome man